I cannot get past the faith expression
found in the first paragraph of Luke Chapter 7.
My mind is totally blown by the love, trust and adoration
that this Roman Centurion betrothed.
His affinity for the Jewish people
was obviously why he built them a synagogue,
and his faith in the healing power of Jesus
was a great way to show his belief in God.
The Centurion had a highly valued slave,
they must have been someone he truly loved.
Because when the slave got sick and was near to death,
the Roman officer sent the Jewish elders to go and find Christ Jesus.
But when Jesus received the news and got ready to go,
the officer sent other messengers to tell him “no.”
First he tells them to ask Jesus to come,
then he changes his mind and says “no -
do not bring Jesus to my home.”
Originally, I was so confused.
Why would he make the request, and then refuse?
But this all made sense to me,
when I read a little more
and saw that he said, “I am so unworthy!”
the Centurion said,
“I am not worthy of such an honor,
and I am not worthy to have you in my home.
I am not worthy to even come and meet you,
stay where you are, but please –
say the word, and heal my slave.”
His response reminds me of John the Baptist,
who said, “Someone is coming who greater than I am."
I am not worthy to even untie his shoes,
because truly I tell you he is the Son of God.
Awe and admiration is always the proper response,
when in the presence of Jesus Christ.
And as I write these words,
I’m thinking of Revelation 5:12-14:
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
to receive power and riches and wisdom,
and strength and honor
and glory and blessings!
Blessing and honor
and glory and power
be to Him
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb,
forever and ever!”
It’s hard to even talk about Jesus,
without breaking out into a praise song!
let me get back to the officer’s response,
it grew even more exuberant:
He asked the messengers
to relay the following words,
so that Jesus would know how much faith had.
He said tell Jesus to
“Just say the word from where you are
and my servant will be healed.
I know this because I am under the authority
of my superior officers,
and I have authority over my soldiers.
I only need to say “Go,” and they go;
or “Come” and they come,
and if I say to my slaves, “Do this” - They do it.”
When Jesus heard what the officer had to say,
he turned to the crowd totally amazed!
“I tell you I have not seen faith like this in all of Israel!”
and with that he commanded the sickness to go.
And when the messengers returned to the officer’s house,
they found the slave completely healed.
What a beautiful testimony
found inside Chapter 7
of the Gospel according to Luke.
The story of a Roman Officer
who had great love for the Jews
possessed more faith than all of Israel.
He also loved his slave –
a slave known to his master as being highly favored.
He also had abundant respect
for God’s sovereignty
because he understood
how commands worked through authority.
But what I learned
most about the Roman Centurion
was that he understood
the power of human intervention.
He positioned himself
from a stance of being so unworthy,
then he sent the message out
while patiently enduring.
He had faith in sovereign authority,
as believed that Jesus
would heal the slave